Championship favourites Warwickshire escaped from a below-par performance with a draw against Middlesex here, where time lost to rain and bad light may well have spared them defeat.
Tasked with scoring 367 to win from 83 overs after Middlesex had been bowled out for 412, they were left hanging on grimly at 152 for 7.
Boyd Rankin and Chris Wright took five wickets each in Middlesex's second innings but the Warwickshire chase started badly, with both openers out in the first six overs. They had stumbled to 86 for 5 when the rain came to their aid. When play restarted Middlesex were obliged to bowl only spinners because of the poor light and Ravi Patel, their debutant left-arm spinner, had Warwickshire in trouble as Jim Troughton gloved one to the wicketkeeper and Ian Blackwell gave a tame return catch.
Yet Warwickshire stay top of the First Division, increasing their lead by a point to 12, after bad weather in Taunton denied Sussex victory over Somerset. Sussex needed only 131 more runs on the final day with all wickets in hand but finished five down and 50 runs short after a delayed start and further stoppages allowed only 24.3 overs to be bowled. Sussex suffered a major wobble when they lost Chris Nash, Murray Goodwin and Luke Wright for one run in nine balls but with Luke Wells and Ben Brown together they were still favourites when another downpour forced an early finish. No one was more frustrated than Monty Panesar, who took 13 wickets in the match.
A century by Rob Newton – his second in the match – thwarted Derbyshire's bid for victory at Northampton after Wayne Madsen and Tom Poynton's marathon ninth-wicket partnership ended 22 runs short of a world record. It was broken at 261 when Jack Brooks bowled Poynton, leaving the oldest partnership record in first-class cricket still in the hands of another Derbyshire pair, John Chapman and Arnold Warren, who put on 283 against Warwickshire in 1910. Madsen went on to make an unbeaten 231, his highest first-class score, as Derbyshire, 253 for 8 at one time, made 569.
Derbyshire's lead in the Second Division increased to 14 points over Hampshire, who were beaten comfortably at Leicester despite a swashbuckling stand of 168 for the last wicket between Chris Wood, who hit a maiden first-class century, and David Balcombe.